Mangalorean Paneer Ghee Roast

Mangalorean Paneer Ghee Roast

Mangalorean Paneer Ghee Roast is a popular South Indian recipe of Paneer cooked in ghee with some delicious homemade masala.

Mangalorean cuisine hails from South Karnataka that has influence from their neighbouring states and therefore red chillies is an important ingredient in this recipe. I was inspired to make this paneer recipe from my original Chicken Ghee Roast recipe. Mangalorean Paneer Ghee Roast is also known as Kundapur Paneer Ghee Roast as it originates from a village called Kundapur.

Two important components of this recipe are freshly ground chilli-based spice blend and ghee. Ghee is the soul of this recipe, and I would not recommend skimping on it. Make sure to use pure, fresh ghee for the best flavour and aroma. As for the chilli-based spice paste, traditionally a special variety of whole red chillies called ‘Byadgi’ chillies are used in this recipe for its unique taste. However, I find it hard to buy the chillies as they are very localized to the area hence used Kashmiri Whole Red chillies.

This recipe does appear to be fiery red, but the heat has a smoky sweetness to it, mixed with the flavour of ghee. I wouldn’t suggest it to be an ‘everyday’ dish as it comes loaded with ghee. As mentioned earlier do not even attempt to make it an everyday dish by skimping on the ghee or substituting it as it won’t be ghee roast!

Other recipes you might like to try are

Mangalorean Mushroom Ghee Roast,

Matar Paneer with no Onion,

Palak Paneer,  

Indo- Chinese Chilli Paneer,

Tandoori Paneer Tikka,

Afghani Paneer,

Kung Pao Paneer and

Kaju Masala to name a few.


For Roasting Spices
7-8 whole red chillies
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
10-12 black peppercorns
4-5 cloves

Other Ingredients
300 gm paneer (1cm cubes)
8-10 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons ghee
¼ cup tamarind paste
Salt to taste
10-12 curry leaves
1 finely chopped onion



Heat a pan and add the whole red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and cloves.  Gently roast the spices on low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the spices begin to change colour slightly. Remember to stir the spices continuously so the spices do not burn.


Add the roasted spices, garlic and tamarind paste to the mixer jar and blend into a smooth paste with a little water.


Sauté the paneer on low heat with 1/6 teaspoon of oil to a golden colour. I usually only add enough oil to grease the pan. It takes 3-4 minutes on low heat to cook the paneer.


Heat ghee in a pan and add the curry leaves and onion. Sauté on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until onions begin to soften.

Next add 3-4 tablespoons of prepared masala and ½ cup water and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Next add the paneer and cook on low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Serve it with any Indian bread!

Tips & Variations

  1. It is important to allow all the roasted masalas to cool down completely before blending them to prevent accidents.
  2. I have used Kashmiri red chillies. Traditionally Byadgi red chillies are used as they lend both colour and spice.
  3. When roasting the spices, keep the heat on low and stir it continuously to cook everything evenly and prevent the spices from burning.
  4. If the spices do not blend smoothly, add some water for a smooth consistency.
  5. Garlic Cloves are a super important ingredient in this recipe as it gives the masala an added boost of flavour and aroma.
  6. Tamarind paste: I soaked a teaspoon of tamarind in some water and then made a paste out of it. But you can use readymade tamarind paste as well.